MS to buy back $40 b shares

Microsoft Corp raised its quarterly dividend to 28 cents per share and authorised a new share buyback program on Tuesday, two days before investors quiz the software giant on its next chief executive and a bold foray into mobile devices.

The 5-cent increase in the dividend, worth about $400 million a quarter, is about 3 cents per share more than many analysts had expected. Microsoft shares rose about 1 per cent on the Nasdaq.

The company also announced a share repurchase program of up to $40 billion, which has no expiration date, to replace a $40 billion program set to expire on Sept. 30. In the last two years alone, Microsoft has lost almost $3 billion on its Bing search engine and other Internet projects.

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